Anne Blythe is the kind of woman who believes in love. She wants the whole fairytale thing, even though, so far, none of her relationships have worked out. Something always goes wrong.

Meanwhile, she does have so many other good things in her life: a great job as a writer at a magazine; a potential book deal; and really good friends.

So why can’t she have it all? When her best friend Sarah announces her engagement, Anne does something completely out of character. She calls an agency that she believes to be a dating service and makes an appointment. But imagine her surprise when she discovers that the agency arranges marriages.

Who in this modern age would fall for something like that? But since nothing else has worked, why not?

Fast forward a few months. After doing some research, taking psychological tests, and undergoing the requisite counseling, Anne finds herself at a Mexican resort meeting her match, Jack H. Surprisingly, even though he isn’t her usual type, she finds herself drawn to him. He, too, is a writer and has gone through several unsuccessful relationships. And isn’t she trying to change her type? Isn’t this bold experiment all about finding a compatible friend?

The two are married and return to Manhattan to begin their lives: moving in together, finding their rhythm, and falling in love. Or so Anne believes.

But then something blindsides Anne when she discovers Jack’s secret work-in-progress.

What mysteries lie within the pages of Jack’s manuscript that turn her world upside down? What does she do next? And how will she go on after this bitter betrayal?

From this point until the end, this unique tale turns a bit predictable. However, Arranged: A Novel was one of those books that I had to keep reading, just because I wasn’t completely sure how it would end. And because I had really connected with the characters. Anne is the kind of woman often portrayed in books and movies: successful, attractive, and hoping to find love. The kind of character that could be a friend or family member. Jack is also the kind of character that attracts female readers with his mix of sensitivity and masculinity. And because her characters are so real, McKenzie kept my interest until the final page. Four stars.



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